Villaraza & Angangco

Philippines

Review

Dispute resolution

Villaraza & Angangco was built on the legacy of former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio. The firm is a recognised name in litigation relating to commercial, government and regulatory, and employment disputes. The team is also active in the banking, telecoms, real estate, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Some of the key names for commercial and regulatory disputes include Alejandro Alfonso Navarro, Augusto San Pedro and Thea Daep. Joseph Anthony Lopez heads the litigation team. In intellectual property, Bienvenido Somera and Katrina Doble are the names to note.

The firm successfully represented the directors and officers of Fountel Corporation and Felicitas Antoinette in a shareholder dispute against multiple intra-corporate and criminal litigations. The matter involved the corporation’s acquisition of shares in Professional Services and control of the Medical City, one of the Philippines’ premiere medical institutions, where a set of shareholders claimed that such acquisitions were acquired through fraudulent means. This is one of the most well-publicised and anticipated corporate battles in the country.

The firm is representing the key officers of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in a criminal case for money laundering involving an unprecedented and sophisticated cross-border cyberheist allegedly perpetrated by North Korean hackers, which involved the remittance of $101 million from the Bangladesh Bank’s account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to accounts in Sri Lanka and RCBC. The outcome of this case is precedent-setting because it has charted the course of defences that can validly be raised by banks and their officers against money laundering allegations, and clearly shows how anti-money laundering standards develop in the region.

In another case highlight, the firm is representing the majority of a consortium of major local banks in the rehabilitation proceedings of the shipbuilding firm Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines before the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City. The matter marks the largest financial default in Philippine history involving claims of more than $1.5 billion.

On the IP front, the firm’s IP team is acting as the lead external counsel for Petron’s LPG Trade brand protection program, prosecuting several criminal cases for trademark infringement, unfair competition and illegal refilling against the country’s three biggest illegal re-fillers of LPG cylinders.

In January 2021, the firm promoted Karla Regina Valera-Chua and Rashel Ann Promoy to partners.

The firm counts esteemed companies as litigation clients: BDO Unibank, F&CO Co, Philippine Association of Steelformers, Philippine Investment One and Tagum Resources Agri Industries.

Client feedback

“The firm excels in all aspects of its services, and it shows respect and courtesy to the clients.” – Commercial and transactions